In-Situ Observation of Surface Modification Induced by Highly Charged Ion Bombardment
Ronaldo Minniti, John D. Gillaspy, L P. Ratliff
Nanoscale dots created on the surface of a HOPG sample by bombardment with individual highly charged xenon projectile ions were observed using an in-situ scanning tunneling microscope (STM). This is the first time that such features have been created and imaged without exposure to air. The dots vary in size with the charge state of the ion, up to a diameter of 6.6 nm for Xe44+, and are interpreted as resulting from the conversion of the potential energy of the incoming projectile to surface modification.